Faculty Senate to discuss potential university think tank

Brooke Schwartz, News Editor

The Faculty Senate is meeting Tuesday in room 4440 of Booth Library to discuss updates to a possible university think tank, the bike path and the panther statue.

The campus strategic vision group, a type of think tank, was first discussed last year in the midst of the Workgroup No. 8 and 9 Review Committee’s work.

During the original vitalization project, proposed by Eastern President David Glassman in 2016, different workgroups made recommendations for programs in various areas around campus.

These recommendations included programs that could be outsourced, consolidated or deleted, ways programs could reduce costs and inefficiencies and improvement plans to develop other programs.

A common criticism of these workgroups was that many of these recommendations were made in the span of one semester.

A Workgroup Review Committee was then created in 2017, which looked at the recommendations Workgroups No. 8 and 9 made during the vitalization project.

Out of this committee came the idea of creating a permanent group or committee that would be solely purposed to look at the future of Eastern’s campus.

At a senate meeting Jan. 9, 2018, such a committee was discussed, and Teshome Abebe, senate member this year and last year and an economics professor, said he liked the idea of having such a committee exist without a strict time table, which both the original vitalization committees and the Workgroup Review Committee were forced to work under.

“I think, either because of the shortage of time or perhaps the environment does not allow (the Workgroup Review Committee) as a group to do this, but I don’t feel that there has been discussion about imagining the future in a thorough, deliberate, careful way. We talk in general,” Abebe said at that Jan 2018 meeting.

The discussion of a committee focused on improving the future of Eastern will continue at Tuesday’s meeting.

The senate will also be discussing their proposed college representation in an effort to make sure the newly created colleges all have some form of representation on the senate.

The shared governance resolutions have been tabled until the senate’s Oct. 16 meeting.

An update on the panther statue and the Charleston bike trails, both of which were approved last year, will also be given to the senate.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

Faculty Senate discusses creating ‘vitalization’ group